What Is A Social Security Number
A Social Security number is a numerical identifier assigned to U.S. citizens and some residents to track their income and determine benefits. The Social Security number was created in 1935 as part of The New Deal as a program to provide for retirement and disability benefits for the old and infirm. While the original intention of the program and the individually-assigned identification number was simply to track earnings and provide benefits, it is now also used for a wide range of purposes, such as to identify individuals for tax purposes, to track their credit record, and approve for credit. In the United States, an individual is asked to provide an SSN to obtain credit, open a bank account, obtain government benefits or private insurance, and to buy a home or a car, among many other pursuits.
Obtaining/reclaiming Your Social Security Number
Over time, the US Social Security Number has evolved from merely the number of your account for retirement savings to something akin to a single national identification number that follows you throughout your US administrative life. It is indispensable on passport applications, tax returns, financial account reporting and numerous other business forms. And now it has gone international: under FATCA banks and other financial institutions around the world are required to ask American citizen clients for an IRS Form W-9 , which includes their SSN.
For many American citizens living abroad, such requests may cause panic. They havent thought of their SSN for years . Some never had one; some have lost theirs, dont remember the number, or dont even know if they ever had one. So, yet another unanticipated fallout of FATCA is the extra workload falling on American embassy and consulate Federal Benefits Units around the world.
Add to this mix the enhanced requirement for high-quality, verified documentation prior to issuing a SSN, due not only to FATCA, but to various recent laws aimed at countering fraud and fear of terrorists. The bottom-line message, particularly for Americans residing abroad, is: verify now that you and any citizen you want to claim as your dependent, have SSNs. If not, roll up your sleeves, assemble your documentation, and apply as soon as possible, because it costs time to obtain a SSN.
Social Security Number: How To Get One
A Social Security number may be obtained by filling out Form SS-5 from the Social Security Administration. The form covers obtaining an original card, replacing a card, and changing or correcting SSN records. A full list of requirements are listed in the form. There is no cost for obtaining a card or number. In some circumstances, an individual may change their Social Security number.
Who Are Social Security Numbers Issued To
Other knowledge security consultants agree, citing the high danger of shedding a card when you cart it round in your wallet or pocketbook. The excellent news is that the Social Security Administration offers, freed from charge, three card replacements on an annual foundation, and 10 free playing cards in the course of an individuals lifetime. In the digital age, the notion of dropping your wallet or purse with your Social Security card lodged inside could seem like a low-risk or no-risk affair. But people do suffer misplaced or stolen wallets all the time. Pairing that experience with a misplaced Social Security card only doubles the ache. Venmo is a money switch enterprise regulated by the United States Treasury Department. As such, we are obligated to gather certain information from our users to verify their identities.
- Failure to answer the IRS letter could end in a procedural assessment of tax by the IRS in opposition to the overseas entity.
- Minnesota regulation says that the collection and use of data must be essential to administer or handle a program specifically authorized by legislation .
- Letter from ISS verifying your employment or eligibility to work in the us
This link takes you to another, exterior web site that doesnt belong to Venmo. Make positive you evaluate the privacy insurance policies, as they may differ, and always check that the connection is secure earlier than you provide any personal info.
Why Change A Social Security Number
The SSA generally discourages people from changing their Social Security number . But like many other rules, there can be exceptions. For example, the SSA may issue a new SSN if you are able to prove that using your existing number will cause you harm, such as in cases of domestic abuse or harassment. The agency also reissues Social Security numbers in certain instances when someone is a victim of identity theft.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that even if you get a brand-new SSN, it doesn’t mean you have wiped the slate clean. The SSA normally keeps records under the original SSN, and other government agencies, such as your state department of motor vehicles and the Internal Revenue Service do, as well. That also applies to some businesses, such as credit card companies, that maintain files on you.
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Will They Run Out Of Social Security Numbers
At present, the SSAhas distributed some 450 million numbers and has some420 million numbers available for distribution. So its likely the system will be around for awhile. Unfortunately, because data entry has sometimes been done by people, one study showed many people havemultiple Social Security numbers associated with their names and many Social Security numbers are associated with up to five people. No system is foolproof. But most people have only one Social Security number that can be used to ensure they receive the benefits they have worked toward all their lives.
Because of the importance of this number, its key not to share it as a form of identification unless absolutely necessary. You are, in general, the only person in the world with your number. Thats pretty special.
When Claiming Exemptions For Dependent Or Spouse
You generally must list on your individual income tax return the Social Security number of any person for whom you claim an exemption. If your dependent or spouse does not have and is not eligible to get an SSN, you must list the ITIN instead of an SSN. You do not need an SSN or ITIN for a child who was born and died in the same tax year. Instead of an SSN or ITIN, attach a copy of the child’s birth certificate and write Died on the appropriate exemption line of your tax return.
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Ask Questions When They Ask For Your Social Security Number
There is no law that prevents businesses from asking for your SSN. And you may be denied service if you don’t give the number. If giving your SSN to a business doesn’t seem reasonable to you, ask if you can show another form of identification. Or ask if the business can use another number as your customer number.
Remember that some government agencies can require your SSN. These agencies include DMV, welfare offices, and tax agencies. Look for the required “disclosure” form. The form should state if giving the number is required or optional, how it will be used, and the agency’s legal authority to ask for it.1
What Do The Numbers Mean
SSNs are not assigned consecutively; the first was not the lowest number, and the most recent is not the highest. They are assigned regionally and in batches.
The nine-digit SSN, which has been issued in more than 400 million different sequences, is divided into three parts: area numbers, group numbers and serial numbers.
- Area numbers The first three numbers originally represented the state in which a person first applied for a Social Security card. Numbers started in the northeast and moved westward. This meant that people on the east coast had the lowest numbers and those on the west coast had the highest. Since 1972, the SSA has assigned numbers and issued cards based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the original application form. Since the applicants mailing address doesnt have to be the same as his residence, his area number doesnt necessarily represent the state in which he resides. For many of us who received our SSNs as infants, the area number indicates the state we were born in. You can find out which area numbers go with each state at SSA.gov: Social Security Number Allocations.
- Group numbers These two middle digits, which range from 01 through 99, are simply used to break all the SSNs with the same area number into smaller blocks, which makes administration easier.
- Serial numbers Within each group designation, serial numbers the last four digits in an SSN run consecutively from 0001 through 9999.
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Types Of Social Security Cards:
There are three types of Social Security cards which show your name and Social Security number.
- The first type of card is issued to:
- U.S. citizens; and
- People lawfully admitted to the United States on a permanent basis.
Do Social Security Numbers Mean Anything
The SSA willneverthreaten or intimidate folks, demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or demand a bank card or debit card number over the phone or by e mail. EmploymentYou can start work when you wait for your Social Security quantity to be issued. However, you must have utilized for a Social Security quantity if you are employed in the united states or in case you have acquired and plan to just accept an offer of employment in the united states Obtain employment or fellowship authorization from your J-1 visa sponsor . UC Berkeley-sponsored college students can obtainOn-Campus Employment or Fellowship Authorizationfrom Berkeley International Office.
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The Area Number From June 25 2011 To The Present
On June 25, 2011, Social Security changed the numerical assignment process to one of randomization for the purpose of protecting the integrity of the SSN and freeing up more numbers, thus extending the longevity of the nine-digit format. As such, all cards issued after that date have an Area Number that does not actually correspond to any location at all.
Your Social Security Number: The 9
“There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything.”
Imagine living in our country 100 years ago: no televisions, microwaves, iPhones, laptops, credit cards, or ATMsand no Social Security numbers . Definitely, major changes have evolved with inventions and advancing technology. And there’s a story to go with each change.;
Among the many changes over the years, the evolution of the SSN’s usage ranks near the top. But what’s the story on how the SSN became an almost universal identifier in the United States? Is there a downside to this?
The story of the SSN starts during the Great Depression. Millions of people were struggling without jobs or income. The elderly were hit especially hard. This triggered a concern for the future of the elderly.;
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Although the Act was passed during the Great Depression, it was designed to ensure the future economic security of individuals and did not address the immediate economic problems of the Great Depression.;
Social Security’s primary original purpose was to provide financial benefits to people over age 65. Upon retirement, people who were no longer working would receive monthly retirement benefits or Social Security income. Benefit amounts would be based on a person’s earnings in covered employments.1 Monthly benefits were scheduled to begin in 1942.2;
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What Information Does The Number Not Provide
Most significantly, and perhaps surprisingly, criminal records are not tied to SSNs. An individuals criminal charge may or may not include their SSN, so a clean criminal record check using SSN alone is not particularly meaningful. Its a start, but its by no means the whole story. However, using information gleaned from an SSN check that includes names and aliases as well as former addresses, skilled background screeners can search criminal records databases to find evidence of an individuals criminal history. So, while your SSN by itself will not reveal a criminal history, its nonetheless very difficult to run a thorough criminal background check without the additional information provided by a thorough SSN trace.
How Are The First 3 Digits Of Your Social Security Number Determined 1936
The first three numerals in a Social Security number are called the Area Number.;The area number doesnt correlate with where the worker lives. Initially it might have been designed to do so, but it didnt really turn out that way.;
After a lot of deliberation and debate about how to distribute Social Security numbers to the workers of America, it was decided to send out 10,000 numbers to each post office in the country to distribute to people registering for the;Old Age Pension;fund.;In general, the lower numbers were given on the east coast and the numbers rose the farther west the post office was. As you can imagine, some post offices ran out of numbers faster than others.
Use Of The Social Insurance Number
Canada established laws that restrict the use of SINs in income reporting and has a limited list of federal departments and programs that can collect Canadian citizens’ SINs, such as the Income and Health Care Programs, the Labour Adjustment Review Board, and the Rural and Native Housing Program.
Some private-sector companies, such as telecommunications firms and airlines, can also collect their customers’ SINs. Generally, Canadian law bars private companies from acquiring a customer’s SIN unless there is a specific and lawful reason .
Financial institutions that let customers earn investment income, such as credit unions and banks, can also collect SINs. If certain companies deny services to a customer for not providing a SIN, that customer can file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
As with American SSNs, theft and misuse of SINs and the accompanying identity theft is a growing problem. A thief can use a stolen SIN to work illegally or to obtain credit, and the legitimate SIN owner could be requested to pay additional taxes for the income they didn’t receive or could have difficulty obtaining credit.
What Do I Do If I Have Lost My Social Security Id
If you have lost your social security ID, it is possible to obtain a new one. You will need to get in contact with your statutory health insurance provider, who will request a new ID for you from your pension insurance provider. The new document will come to you in the post, usually within six weeks.
If you urgently need your ID, i.e. if you are starting a new job and your employer asks for your social security number, your health insurance provider can also issue you with a document that acts as a temporary social security ID.
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How Are Social Security Numbers Formulated
Most of us dont really know what our Social Security number means. Why is one persons number so very different from someone who was born in the same hospital a few years later? Do they recycle Social Security numbers? What do those three sequences represent? And what is a Social Security number?
According to the Social Security Administrationshistory of Social Security numbers, the numerical sequence was the system the three-memberSocial Security Board finally agreed on to enable them to track workers earnings throughout their lives. They couldnt just use peoples names and addresses, because people move around. Besides, using just names and addresses could lead to a lot of confusion. As one 1937 article noted:
A recent news account states that the Fred Smiths of New York City have had so much trouble in being identified by their creditors, the courts, and even their friends, that they have joined together in forming the Fred Smiths, Incorporated, to serve as a clearing house for their identification problems.
So, they had to come up with a more unique identifier. The Social Security number, now used by most agencies and businesses to identify individuals, is the one they landed on.
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Identity Theft Is One Major Reason Today
Your Social Security number, a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration , is meant to stay with you for life and never change. But there are instances where the SSA makes exceptions. These include times when your safety is endangered or you are a victim of identity theft. Here is why some people change their Social Security numbers and how to go about it if you wish to.
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